Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) has successfully secured $18,160,000 in state bond funding to complete a full renovation of the university’s unique geothermal heating and hot water system at its Klamath Falls campus. This crucial funding will renovate the existing geothermal system that supplies the entire campus. Despite routine maintenance, the 60-year-old system was at risk of a full system failure.
In 1964, Oregon Tech relocated to its current location to tap into this valuable resource, which has made the university a leading institution in renewable energy.
“We take pride in our Klamath Falls campus that relies solely on renewable energy for heating, which saves the university over $1.4 million in annual energy costs,” Oregon Tech President Dr. Nagi Naganathan said. “We are grateful for the legislature's bipartisan support and investment in helping Oregon Tech be proactive in renovating our system, as it allows us to continue conserving resources and provides an exceptional teaching and research tool for our faculty and students.”
The renovation project addresses urgent repairs, identified by a professional engineering firm in June 2022, needed to avoid imminent system failure and maintain life safety standards on campus.
The consequences of a system failure would be catastrophic, causing no heat or hot water on campus, flooding in buildings, and power disruptions. Maintaining the system and addressing the deficiencies is substantially cheaper than replacing the system using electricity or gas.
“Future generations of students and faculty can look forward to a safe and sustainable learning environment at Oregon Tech for the next 75 years,” added President Naganathan.
Oregon Tech deeply appreciates the dedication and tireless efforts of legislative leadership and Representative Emily McIntire (R-Eagle Point) and Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls), whose efforts were crucial in securing this essential funding.
“As a member of the House Committee on Higher Education and the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Education, I’m proud to have the state’s only polytechnic university in my district,” said Representative McIntire. “This funding will not only keep the heat on for students, it will further research and learning. My biggest thanks to all the stakeholders who worked so hard to get this funding request across the finish line. It is our partnership that makes these happen.”
“Investing in critical community projects is the right way for the government to return Oregonians’ hard-earned tax dollars. I am pleased to join Representative McIntire in announcing this historic funding for the Oregon Institute of Technology,” said Representative Reschke.
The university would also like to gratefully acknowledge the outstanding advocacy efforts of our students, faculty, staff, Oregon Tech Board of Trustees members, and community partners.-END-